NAB Appeals 6 GHz Order

Says it unlawfully fails to protect electronic newsgathering

Broadcasters have gotten serious about trying to stop the FCC from allowing unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band.

The National Association of Broadcaster Friday (July 24) has appealed the FCC’s 6 GHz decision, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to vacate the order, as well as “hold unlawful, enjoin and set [it] aside,” leaving no doubt about what broadcasters think about it.

NAB’s McFadden Slams OTI, Facebook Over 6 GHz

NAB says the FCC did not protect incumbent users, including broadcasters, from potential interference.

Broadcasters had requested that the FCC carve out from the sharing proposal the 80 MHz of spectrum they use for electronic newsgathering, which they argue would be subject to potential interference from computers and other devices tapping into that unlicensed spectrum.

The FCC had instead, in a unanimous vote April 23, opened all of the band for unlicensed.

NAB has cried foul: “The Order unlawfully fails to protect the myriad existing licensed users in the band from potential interference arising from such unlicensed use,” it told the court. “Television broadcasters in particular have both fixed and mobile operations in the 6 GHz band, which require different protective measures to be adequately insulated from harmful interference. The Order neglects to include proper safeguards for either type of broadcast operation.”

NAB has pointed out that during the pandemic, the need for that local news gathering to get to its audience unimpeded is even more important.